FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES ALL CHARGES AGAINST DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN

module_img_1 It is with a great sense of relief and thankfulness that I can now report that all charges have been dropped against my client Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Minutes ago, United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga signed the order dismissing the indictment against Dr. Al-Arian. The case was before Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, but it was Judge Trenga who signed the order on Friday afternoon.

I have represented Dr. Al-Arian for roughly eight years as we fought against his deportation and the dismissal of these charges. We have litigated the case from the 11th Circuit to the 4th Circuit to the Supreme Court and back again. It has been a long and difficult road for the Al-Arian family.

In September 2004, Dr. Sami Amin Al-Arian was charged, along with various co-defendants, in a 53-count Superseding Indictment. Following a highly publicized six-month trial in 2005, Dr. Al-Arian was acquitted on eight counts and the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining nine counts. There were only two jurors who voted against acquitting Dr. Al-Arian of all of the remaining counts.

As the government considered whether to bring charges against Dr. Al-Arian on the remaining counts, the parties began to negotiate a plea agreement. As a result of these negotiations, Dr. Al- Arian executed a written plea agreement on February 28, 2006. Pursuant to this agreement, Dr. Al-Arian committed to pleading guilty to Court 4 of the Superseding Indictment. The narrative of this count largely dealt with a statement that Dr. Al- Arian made to a reporter and his support with an immigration matter for a person “associated” with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The count notably did not admit to any of the core terrorism charges levied against him regarding alleged leadership in PIJ and the other terrorism acts. Dr. Al-Arian was sentenced to a 57-month term of imprisonment on May 1, 2006.

In fact, as evidence of the high-profile nature of the case, then-Attorney General Ashcroft called an unorthodox press conference to announce Dr. Al-Arian’s arrest. Ashcroft had publicly and repeatedly cited the prosecution as a major victory in his administration. See, e.g., Paul Lomartire, Professor Says Terrorism Arrest ‘All About Politics,’ Cox News Service, Feb. 20, 2003. A movie has since been made of the trial and hundreds of articles have appeared in local and national publications regarding the case.

The trial loss and plea agreement was viewed as a significant defeat for the Justice Department. In the immediate aftermath of the settlement and public criticism, prosecutors set out to call Dr. Al-Arian to a grand jury despite his prior insistence that he would not cooperate in such an investigation as a condition of his plea agreement.

The result was a highly abusive incarceration of Dr. Al-Arian and eventually this indictment for criminal contempt (for refusing to testify) in 2008 by the Justice Department. He was indicted despite my producing a polygraph showing that he could offer nothing of the matters under investigation by the grand jury and a sworn detailed declaration of his lack of knowledge. We filed a series of motions contesting the indictment for selective prosecution, errors in the indictment, and a clear violation of the agreement made by the Justice Department.

A few years ago, we were able to have Dr. Al-Arian released from jail and later we were able to have his home confinement conditions lifted. He has lived with his family in Virginia.

This case remains one of the most troubling chapters in this nation’s crackdown after 9-11. Despite the jury verdict and the agreement reached to allow Dr. Al-Arian to leave the country, the Justice Department continued to fight for his incarceration and for a trial in this case. It will remain one of the most disturbing cases of my career in terms of the actions taken by our government. However, despite our often heated hearings in this case, I thank those at the Justice Department who agreed to the dismissal of the indictment. This family has been put through over a decade of grinding, unrelenting litigation. It is time to bring closure to this matter once for all.

I am very thankful to the many law students who have assisted me on this case as well as the help of the law firm of Bryan Cave as local counsel in the case. We have represented Dr. Al-Arian pro bono because of the important constitutional and ethical issues raised by his case. The core values underlying this defense ultimately prevailed but only due to the extraordinary effort of Dr. Al-Arian, his loyal family, and a wide array of supporters. It is often said that Justice delay is Justice denied. However, despite this delay, justice did ultimately prevail for not just the Al-Arians but our legal system.

Jonathan Turley

STATEMENT FROM AL-ARIAN FAMILY
June 27, 2014

We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end. We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.

We are so grateful to our brilliant attorney, Jonathan Turley and his legal team for their tireless efforts and advocacy on our behalf. Thank you to all of our supporters around the country and across the globe, who have stood behind us throughout the years.

99 thoughts on “FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES ALL CHARGES AGAINST DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN

  1. Congrats and kudos, Jonathan. A law prof w/ REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. If only we elected a President w/ those credentials.

  2. There is a bit in the Dr.’s Wikipefia profile – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_Al-Arian – that might be a pointer to the root of much of the fuss:

    But in a separate White House event on June 28, his son Abdullah – a congressional intern – made national headlines when he was escorted out by Secret Service without explanation. Twenty four Muslim community leaders walked out also to protest Abdullah’s ejection.[35][36] The Secret Service later apologized for the incident citing “confusion by one of its guards”

    “confusion by one of its guards”
    … Guards like O’Reilly, Loftus, Ashcroft and similar towering intellects.

  3. Congratulations and thank you, Professor Turley; you have my sincere respect for taking such a difficult, sensitive case and staying with it till the end.

  4. Injustice was done.

    This should never have happened.

    It will continue to happen unless we all stand up as JT and the defense team he led did (kudos to the sane ones on the prosecution team too).

    This is want we have to call justice now.

    Putting up with injustice.

    But, in the mean time, slowly getting rid of injustice.

    That is our current “justice.”

  5. john

    Maybe I missed it, but what was he accused of?

    ===================
    Walking while “Muslin” and being a religious “moran.”

  6. “Maybe I missed it, but what was he accused of?”

    Making people who have been traumatized by the multi-multi-billion Homeland Security industry feel confused. There are few crimes more heinous. People want simple certainties.

  7. Sincerest appreciation and respect to you Prof.Turley for standing up for Dr. al-Arian….remembering that they lost everything he’d worked for over 30 years, career, retirement, home…and his beautiful family suffered enormous stresses for more than a decade over NOTHING—‘guilty’ only of being Palestinian and Muslim during America’s latest scape-goating phase ~!
    thanks Dr Turley….heart felt appreciation to you and all your staff.

  8. God Bless You, Mister Turley! Long Live the US Constitution! God Bless You and Your Loves Ones, Sir!!! :o)

  9. I note that the law firm of Bryan Cave, which assisted JT in this case, has done work for other important criminal cases around the country. They presently represent an innocent man in Missouri who has spent years in prison. His name is Doc Nash. Large law firms seldom devote time and money pro bono to innocence project cases. But Bryan Cave is remarkable in this regard.

  10. Congratulations to the legal team, to Dr. Al-Arian and to his entire family. I cannot imagine the sacrifices the family– and the legal team– have gone through in the past decade. You guys inspire me, and this verdict gives me hope for the many others who are incarcerated simply for being Muslim in America at the wrong time in our country’s history
    .

  11. Congratulations. Thank you for all the work you have done and thanks to all those professionals who supported you.

  12. The biggest lesson to be learned here is how rotten is the corrupt practice of plea bargaining. Only two jurors said guilty to the final count but the system still succeeded in intimidating him into a six year sentence.

    If the authorities are determined to get a conviction they can always get the defendant to plead to something and thereby disguise the fact that there never was a legitimate case. The plea that Sami Al Arian copped was a severe one, 57 months, I can only assume that he accepted it because fighting the other charges had exhausted him. I would assume that the intended purpose has been attained, that in the US there are no longer many Muslims advocating for justice to the Palestinians.

    Really something needs to be done about the whole plea bargain system. No innocent person should be put in the position of having to plea to something he/she didn’t do for fear of the out of proportion sentence he would get by losing at trial. The details of every plea negotiation including all the counts of which he could be convicted and the sentence if he lost at trial. Would the US people accept plea bargaining if they actually knew these details.

  13. Words left out in my previous post:-

    “. The details of every plea negotiation including all the counts of which he could be convicted and the sentence if he lost at trial need to ber published”.

  14. My name is Brenda Hill wa state 1989 whistleblower law 1st in the nation named after me!! Obamacare whistleblower Patricia Petersen has/ is suffering retaliation in wa state! No matter the state or type of whistleblower I’m here for them every step of the way!! Seems I can’t turn of the news another whistleblower is suffering! Honestly I’m past tired of it!! I know what it is to have a gag order nearly 6 yrs sued for 1.2 mil 5 day jury trial and I was a housewife!! Take on a whistleblower and you take me on as well!! President Obama’s admin is failing whistleblowers terribly!! Unexceptable!! We all benefit when someone speaks out! As it is out first amendment looks like Swiss cheese!! When Beverly Hills ave of the stars real estate attorneys can get a gag order on someone within 24 hours of request we have a problem!! I didn’t have any money to fight back!! Wore borrowed clothes to jury trial. We must band together or we won’t have a constitution!!!! Brenda Hill 360 558. 8577

  15. Congratulations to the Al Arian family, Prof. Turley. This what makes the US, the leader of the world,not money or military power, it is JUSTICE and FREEDOM.!

  16. wow, the injustice done previously is horrible. Am very glad to see that in the end things were corrected but that won’t replace what was lost.

    I have to admit my first thought was this was going to about some EvilDoer getting off on technicalities. After reading about the Dr. and his case it seems clear he was railroaded due to bigotry and paranoia.

    Thank you Mr Turley and all the others who fought for the Dr. Al-Arian freedom.
    Thanks also to the court system which shown it can be as bias-free and blind to all but justice as it is supposed to be.

  17. This case remains one of the most troubling chapters in this nation’s crackdown after 9-11. -Jonathan Turley

    Troubling, indeed. And the worst is yet to come.

    (Congratulations, Jonathan, and all of the others who helped to bring about this outcome — he was lucky to have had your help.)

  18. […] “I have represented Dr. Al-Arian for roughly eight years as we fought against his deportation and the dismissal of these charges. We have litigated the case from the 11th Circuit to the 4th Circuit to the Supreme Court and back again. It has been a long and difficult road for the Al-Arian family,” Turley explains in a statement on his website, http://www.JonathanTurley.org. […]

  19. The best news I have heard for a long time. I admire the Ai-Arian family for their forbearance, and the legal team for their perseverance in seeking justice.

  20. Congratulations to Sami & his family for reaching the end of a long, needlessly tortuous journey. Kudos to you, Sir, for your courageous and unceasing defense of all our Constitutional rights!

  21. What great good news! Thanks you Jonathan Turley and the legal team; the Al-Arian family; the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs for the great coverage it gave the case; and to all who helped get justice. This is very good news for similar post-9/11 cases that are still seeking justice.

  22. As others have mentioned, it was not only Mr. Al Arian who endured this incredible hardship. Laila Al Arian came to Seattle (I believe more than once) speaking out against her father’s treatment. That takes courage, when you have such powerful foes. I hope their lives will be easier from now on.

  23. Professor Turley to the rescue again! Congrats to you and a sigh of relief for Dr. Al-Arian and family.

  24. I’ve been following this case (as I did Mazen al Najar’s) from the beginning. I hope this family can have the ultimate victory of true justice for all they have suffered. All things considered, deportation after this comes as no punishment, but a blessing. I wish everyone a blessed Ramazan!

  25. Dr. Al-Arian should not forgive his enemy and wishes them nothing but total destruction. The world hate his enemy who is the enemy of the world.

  26. The names on this thread are mostly new and of Middle Eastern descent. Hopefully some of you will continue to comment on other topics here. We need a perspective from obviously thoughtful people like yourselves. We can’t truly know what it is like to walk in your shoes and this juncture in US history. Some of us can know what it was like for our ancestors when they were new to this country. I am a 2nd generation American. All four of my grandparents were immigrants. I surmise Japanese immigrants living here in WW2 have the best perspective. Our government committed one of its worst sins w/ them. Affording us the opportunity to hear your stories will help us and yourselves. That is one of the immense powers of the internet.

  27. The courageous Al-Arian family’s unjustified, unfair and long suffering is over. That is the consolation. Also, the courage, determination, skill and perseverance of Professor Jonathan Turley and his team, the help of the law firm of Bryan Cave, and the goodwill and well wishes of so many from around the world are very encouraging and cause for hope. Other than that it is perhaps time for reflection on the whole sorry and shameful incident. The havoc wrought by the pettiness, vindictiveness, shear cruelty and total disregard of the law by a powerful, power-drunk section of our elite in bringing a bogus, politically-motivated case against a socially conscious and active human being should give us pause.

  28. Thank you Prof Turley for taking on this important case for all Americans. Finally, after 11 years and just in time for Ramadan! Maybe there still is some shredded remnants left of the Constitution amidst all the fear and ignorance?

    I hope those who were involved in the illegal cruel and unusual punishment of this man, who was never convicted of anything, will be held accountable for their actions so this never happens to anyone else.

  29. I wonder if Bill O’Really will offer a public apology on his show and invite Dr. al-Arian to make it. Sorry, we all know what a LIAR Billo is and that he’d never admit to being so.

  30. What does this have to do with the hasty departure of DOJ USA middle district of Florida USA robert e O’Neill aka Irish Republican Army bar owner four green fields Tampa for the Louis Freeh Agency?? After all O’Neill has been involved in several malicious prosecutions on the fed level. Jpscanlan.com

  31. O’Neill has at minimum had our family terrorized with NDA tactics we are now being prosecuted in the second illegal foreclosure on our home. These could only be malicious. We never missed a payment Lerner Sampson rothfuss filed an illegal and forged AOM and have foreclosed twice in 2013. He has had us followed everywhere since prior tom2008

  32. And warm congratulations and thanks to the real attorneys. It galled us in Tampa that the IRA operated openly under DOJ and FBI cover while Al arian family was drug through the mud good on you, attorneys!!! Thank the universal good for the Al Arian family two years in to a malicious prosecution i am still proud to have spoken up and out for you to the point that yahoo won’t let me send a reply to Heidi boghosian or a heads up to Jim Scanlon power to the good

  33. Thank you Jonathan – a remarkable example of your public service to justice and democracy – ironically against a government that claims to be represent both. As a South Africa this reminds me of the political trials under apartheid. And you of the brave lawyers who took on the state.

    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui remains incarcerated under equally bizarre circumstances. Hopefully one day she will find similar exoneration.

    Peace to the al-Arian family.

    With the greatest respect.

  34. Shame on the Islamophobes and Neocons. Such a shame that this fight even had to happen.
    Congratulations on this victory for democracy.

  35. Prof. Turley, congratulations to you and to Dr. Al-Arian for a victory that required great skill, determination and commitment to the rule of law.

  36. They are also allowing these tactics to be used by rogue individuals and maybe rogue LEO and possibly those posing as LEO. It is extremely frightening and the cost to a peaceful life is near unbearable

  37. Congratulations to the Venerate Professor.

    ******************************************************************************************

    Was it the compelling presentation of the predominance of the merits,

    or the clout and prestige of the man?

    ******************************************************************************************

    The government is the subject. The citizens are the sovereign.

    It takes two to tango.

    Only one can be right. If one was right, the other was wrong.

    What is the penalty for the one who was wrong?

    For the accused, it was, potentially, prison.

    For the government the penalty is…what?

    Tyranny and oppression of the sovereign…by the subject?

    A wrong needs to be righted.

    A wrong needs to be righted.

  38. I left my email with your new aide or her replacement for the week and your old one who left 071114. I feel it is of utmost urgency I speak with you on this matter. My email has been gone through we are followed everywhere, I believe an inquiry was fabricated and possibly another one to make this one look good. Very coincidental to all of this wrongful foreclosure with the robosigned and fabricated documents. . It is the same exact strategy As in USA v Conn. My social security files were also gone through. Even the SSA was extremely puzzled. She was so upset she turned around the computer and showed me which is strictly forbidden, I only want to find out who is having me followed and why. I think you may already know at which time i would ask you to please help me. I have done nothing wrong and can provide reference. This case would potentially have as big consequence domestically. People just have no idea what these folks seem capable of with the dying and fabrcating. I have not had one minute’s peace since commenting here. Also other things have occurred. All in all I need an advocate very badly, sat least briefly. I will not hold you to it but I believe I am in the process of being railroaded for doing no more than speaking the truth and my opinion. I hope you will help. If I were not frightened I would not ask. They admit this fabricating by rothfuss and by Conn. All available on pacer. Shellie hill fabricated with rothfuss. Conn had multiple law firm employees they admitted to marl wohlander. They are trying to scare me but also trying to destroy my reputation they have a rep for framing people but this is actually in pacer and on the court pleadings. I really need an advocate.

  39. Typos above….. Spying lying and fabricating of evidence, they get away with it because they isolate the people first while harming their finances. It’s such a hostile and degrading experience I would not wish it on anyone. It would be one thing if it were just me but they also began to target a younger kid who did NOTHING but walk into the courthouse because no one wanted to go in at all it is so toxic. They didn’t even know his name but when they acquired it they found him on Facebook and began to target him with young girls who weren’t as young as they said and who lied about their names to disguise they are related to very powerful but corrupt people and some in the legal field. This could happen to anyone. My sin was having the courage to say, ‘that’s not right.’ and the targeting began, this isn’t making this about me, it’s about the continuation of persecution. The sadistic behavior is now aimed at us and we, as well, are wholly innocent of anything. Certainly a young kid who did nothing but walk into a courthouse and sit down to wait is innocent. Yet targeted. So there is no denying they are targeting us and it wraps around what was said here and about this matter in the past. We can’t be the only ones.

    . I think people should be made aware. This is nothing that should be expected in living a normal life. No reasonable person would say it is tolerable to have a child targeted for accompanying someone into a courthouse and doing nothing but sitting and waiting. That would all be on video. The clerks were whiting out dates, changing them and otherwise altering motions.
    We’re not on the wrong here. If you care as I care, please help. It’s important and it’s wrong. And it would be easy to fix with the right advocacy.

  40. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/10807828/Gerry-Adams-released-over-Jean-McConville-murder.html

    http://www.dailynewsen.com/world/belfast-police-seek-evidence-of-adams-ira-past-h2484817.html

    Gerry Adams is a world infamous fund raiser for the ‘political’ arm of Ira maybe called PIRA. Like most of the rest of you my knowledge of the Ira was scant. Then it became known in ramp, a sleepy little town off of ybor city, that an Ira bar had been opened and every now and then you’d hear a little something. That bar is four green fields CO owned w Colin Breen, by former and perhaps part time present ausa roberteoneill. Adams held numerous fundraisers for pira Ira??? There.at the bar.

    Breen has been known to express hatred toward Brits and others he has somehow involved himself in three generations of our family. He was a stranger to me so I can only conjecture his motivation. I had no idea that he even knew O’Neill until the DOJ nomination. They host a running club called ‘cool running’. Over the course of years of harassment I uncovered many names involved and they would be found on the cool running list.
    This guy Gerry Adams is arrested for questioning after a lawsuit brought to us by Irish police to get some interview tapes pertaining to Ira history he is arrested in may. Robert o Neill was one of the original prosecutors of sami. All charges were finally dropped two months later. And O’Neill now works for louis freeh who apparently remains seriously injured from a single person accident.. is it a reach to believe that all of these events are connected?? Someone dragged that woman away from her children kicking and screaming in broad daylight. It was a vicious and vile act and apparently a mistake. Unknown on my part. I, and my children, are so in need of advocacy it’s starting to hurt. At least it would be interesting work !!!

  41. Oh and the sixth circuit? Ohio in any case COA allowed to proceed a Rico complaint against Lerner Sampson rothfuss boa MERS maybe another respondent slorp v Lerner

  42. My point is that they are still making victims they may be funneling all of these profits to the ira through major us banks. This is where direction should be focused.

  43. “I came to the United States because I valued living as a free person, one who is able to advocate in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been turning into a less free society, a police and surveillance state, especially after 9/11.” — Sami Al-Arian

    And he is right. Most Americans aren’t paying attention.

    Sami Al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, is Deported from U.S.

    By Murtaza Hussain and Glenn Greenwald

    From The Intercept posting:

    Speaking to The Intercept, Al-Arian said that he harbored no resentment despite his ordeal and that he now feels “at peace” with the conclusion of his legal ordeal.

    Describing his visceral, firsthand experience of America’s eroding democratic values Al-Arian said, “I came to the United States because I valued living as a free person, one who is able to advocate in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been turning into a less free society, a police and surveillance state, especially after 9/11.”

    “However, I’m very encouraged by the millions of Americans who are pushing back against the forces of intolerance and exclusionary politics. I leave hopeful that the tide is turning because as history has seen, when the truth is made known to them, Americans do not support oppression and discrimination.”

  44. […] “This case remains one of the most troubling chapters in this nation’s crackdown after 9-11. Despite the jury verdict and the agreement reached to allow Dr. Al-Arian to leave the country, the Justice Department continued to fight for his incarceration and for a trial in this case. It will remain one of the most disturbing cases of my career in terms of the actions taken by our government. However, despite our often heated hearings in this case, I thank those at the Justice Department who agreed to the dismissal of the indictment. This family has been put through over a decade of grinding, unrelenting litigation. It is time to bring closure to this matter once for all,” says Dr. Jonathan Turley, who was his legal adviser for 10 years. […]

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